Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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Bringing the Future Forward, Fast!


Mayor Jacob Frey
City of Minneapolis, Mayor

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey grew up in northern Virginia and went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia on a track scholarship. After graduating with a degree in government, he began running professionally while attending law school at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That’s when he came to Minneapolis to run the Twin Cities Marathon and when he fell in love with the city. The day after graduating, he drove 1,200 miles west to Minneapolis, his chosen home. 

As an employment and civil rights attorney, Jacob became an active community organizer. In 2011, he led efforts to launch the Big Gay Race, which raised over $250,000 to help defeat the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman. He also became involved in advocacy for those experiencing homelessness, helping tenants who lost their homes in North Minneapolis. In 2012, the City of Minneapolis awarded its inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Award to Jacob for his civil rights work. Jacob successfully ran to represent the Third Ward on the city council in 2013. As a Council Member, Jacob focused on constituent services, increasing residential growth, growing the number and variety of small and local businesses, and fully funding affordable housing. Since his election as Mayor in 2017, Jacob has championed an agenda centered on increasing access to affordable housing throughout the city, strengthening community-police relations, and fueling economic growth through inclusive policies. He has successfully secured record-setting investments for the city’s affordable housing work, boosting efforts to expand and preserve affordable housing. Jacob has worked with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to shift the department’s culture, enhance accountability, and prioritize officer wellness. From strengthening the police department’s body camera policy to overhauling the department’s use of force policy, Jacob has been persistent in improving public safety in Minneapolis. And to help bridge the city’s racial disparities, the mayor has targeted resources where they’re needed most to accelerate economic growth. He worked with his Council Colleagues to establish seven new Cultural Districts, areas prioritized for investment. To help ensure more entrepreneurs of color have a fair shot at owning their property, he created a first-of-its-kind Commercial Property Development Fund to target resources to neighborhoods that have historically experienced disinvestment. Jacob lives on the Eastside of Minneapolis with his wife, Sarah Clarke. Sarah practices government relations with a focus on early childhood education.

Mayor Melvin Carter
City of Saint Paul, Mayor

Melvin Carter is the 46th mayor of the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Capital City. 

A fourth-generation Saint Paul resident, Mayor Carter leads with an unapologetic equity agenda. Since taking office in 2018, his accomplishments include raising the city’s minimum wage; tripling free program in rec centers; eliminating late fines in public libraries; reestablishing an Affordable Housing Trust Fund; expanding immigrant & refugee support resources; and launching an Office of Financial Empowerment. One signature initiative is CollegeBound Saint Paul, Mayor Carter’s plan to start every child born in the city with a $50 College Savings Account, starting January 1, 2020. 

Passionate about helping others engage in civic processes, Mayor Carter has trained progressive activists and candidates in over 30 states, and commonly recites his administration’s mantra: “Building a city that works for us all means we all must do the work.” 

Prior to his election in 2017, Mayor Carter has served as a Saint Paul City Council Member; Founding Board Chair of the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood; Director of the Minnesota Office of Early Learning; and Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet. A proud graduate of the Saint Paul public schools, Mayor Carter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Florida A&M University and a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He resides in Saint Paul with his wife, Dr. Sakeena Futrell-Carter, and their children.

Sabina Saksena
Founding Member of Smart North and CEO of Cytilife

Founder/ Owner of Cytilife


Tuning in virtually? Watch live on Hopin on the Stage here.

A fireside chat with Mayor Frey of Minneapolis and Mayor Carter of St Paul, on how they are reimagining and reshaping the Twin Cities to be future-ready, as the world watches.